Abalone poachers caught on Mornington Peninsula

Image: Fisheries Victoria

THREE men leaving a Mornington Peninsula beach have allegedly been found in possession of 169 abalone, of which more than one third were undersize.

Acting Director of Fisheries Education and Enforcement, Brooke Hall, said the men were apprehended by Fisheries Officers as they left Number 16 Beach at Rye shortly after 11pm last Thursday.

“An inspection of the men’s four wheel drive vehicle revealed the illegal catch,” Hall said.

“The men, aged 32, 36 and 40 from Malvern, Mount Waverley and Vermont South were not deterred from fishing in what were cold, rough and windy conditions.”

Fisheries Officers returned all 169 abalone to the water later the same night given they were still in their shell, however their survival rate is uncertain.

Mrs Hall said recreational fishers could harvest abalone from Central Victorian waters, but that catch limits, equipment restrictions and a closed season applied to ensure the fishery remained sustainable.

Victorian Fishos may take five abalone per day on nominated open days in Central Victorian waters.

The minimum legal size is 10cm within Port Phillip Bay and 11cm elsewhere in Central Victorian waters.

Other rules apply and are outlined in the Recreational Fishing Guide –

People who see or suspect illegal fishing activity are encouraged to call 13FISH (133474) at any time. In circumstances where officers can’t respond to a call, the information provided is valuable and helps plan future patrols.

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